I wanted a weekend of doing nothing, but there's small things I need to/could be doing around the house and I don't feel like doing them.
I need to sort my wardrobe (now floordrobe) and do my first reading and tute exercise for uni. I need to do the groceries. I want to read a magazine. I want to go out and watch Bertie Blackman play a free show at Moomba.
But really, I just feel empty and sad.
Jazz has gone and she's not going to be at home when I visit at Easter.
The last thing I did before coming back to Melbourne after the Christmas break was put Jazz and Toby in their run, giving them some treats (or 'biskies' as I call them), patting them and saying I loved them, and saying I'd see them soon.
When I return to my parents' place, they are always so pleased to see me. They both rub up against me, giving me a pat as I give them a pat. As I said yesterday, they show me love like I've never left.
Last Christmas I spent lots of time with them.
Dad and I gave them a bath on Christmas eve. They both don't like water much, despite their breed being renowned for retrieving ducks. Toby, especially, avoids the hose at all costs. There have been times where he's been too afraid to step over the soaker hose, so he'll walk timidly around it. It's quite funny when you see dogs as big as these getting scared over a soaker hose.
Anyhow, Toby and Jazz stayed still just long enough for me to soap them down while Dad held their leads and sprinkled them with the hose. Toby didn't like it much. Jazz was ok about the bath - she looked at me lovingly when I soaped her body.
When Dad released them from the lead, they were very happy to be free of being clean. Jazz ran around the garden like crazy, rolling in the dry grass and dirt.
After the bath, we played fetch with Toby and Jazz. Toby had his squeaker - he's generally ok for you to throw it to him occasionally, he likes to sit back chewing on it and squeaking it for most of the time.
Jazz, however, could have you throw Mr (half) Kong to her 24 hours a day. I remember being pretty proud to get her to sit and allow me to take it from her mouth (even if it was slimy with her slobber!). We played kong for about 20 minutes - I throw like a girl so it didn't go as far as when Dad throws it, but she enjoyed running after it, guessing where I'd throw it next, and jumping in the air twisting around to catch it. Each time she caught it, she'd bring it back, sit, and then I'd prise it out of her mouth, slimy and dirty.
It was really nice to spend time outdoors with Dad and the dogs that afternoon - something that is a bit difficult for me to do in the heat of the summer in the country.
Mum and Dad received Jazz in early 2003 when she was seven months old. She came to them because her owner across the otherside of the country could no longer keep her. I didn't like Jazz much when I first met her - she was boisterous and would jump on me each time I went outside. I never used to go see her alone because she was just too big and clumsy for me. She was never aggressive, but I just didn't have my own personal space around her - she demanded attention at all times. About a year and a half later, she matured and became more sensible, and less boisterous, and I just fell in love with her. Each time I looked at her, she just became more beautiful.
She was a good 'helper' - always stepping into the car when I cleaned it, digging the garden for potatoes (and eating them) and licking the windows.
She had the silkiest ears and a pink tongue that could often be seen when she lay upside down dreaming of bones. She dreamed a lot.
Jazz's tail was always wagging. Waggalating as I called it. It would bang on whatever she stood next to. She would wag it in her sleep. Mum said even before she died, her tail was wasgging.
I'm not very experienced with grief. I'm not really sure what to say or do when I hear of a death. And fortunately, not many people I know have died. But I know that losing a pet is like losing a family member. One of the most difficult things a pet owner will ever do is say goodbye to their pet. I've been there twice before with Curdy and Meg in 2000 - holding their paw as the vet euthanaised them, digging the hole for them, and carrying their dead weight was really traumatic.
I wasn't there yesterday, and Jazz was my pet-by-distance. But I feel really sad she's gone.
I've been talking about all the good memories of her with Mum and Dad. She has made us all very happy, and left us smiling even when she's been naughty.
One thing I take comfort in is that she had a good life until the very end. She wasn't hit by a car, she wasn't shot, she wasn't suffering from cancer. She died of unknown causes. She had her last meal, an attempted game of kong and lots of love and pats from her parents. She didn't suffer for long.
Jazzy genuinely loved life, right until the end.
(Christmas 2008 - opening a present)
Thank you everyone for your kind wishes too.